- Title: Broadway braces for worst as travel ban, coronavirus threatens theater
- Date: 12th March 2020
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (RECENT - MARCH 10, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BROADWAY LEAGUE CHARLOTTE ST. MARTIN SAYING: "So far, there's been no recommendation to close the theaters or to stop crowds. We clearly are telling our theater goers and our cast and crew. If you're sick, don't come. And obviously, if you've bought a ticket, go back to your ticket provider to get exchange or refund." ST. MARTIN WALKING DOWN HALLWAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BROADWAY LEAGUE CHARLOTTE ST. MARTIN SAYING: "Well, the last two weeks are generally the slowest two weeks of the season every year, history has shown that. We should be picking up. There's caution about whether that will actually happen, because people do tend to be more sensitive when it comes to their families. And it's spring break time. But we did have about 9,000 more people go see a Broadway show last week than the same week, the week before. We don't truly know what's going to happen, you know, with the news talking about it nonstop." NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MARCH 12, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TKTS DISCOUNT TICKET SELLER VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOOKING AT MARQUEE WOMAN GETTING TICKET HANDS AT TKTS CASHIER DESK WISCONSIN TOURISTS, SHEILA TAPHORN, AND LISA NELSON, GETTING TICKETS (SOUNDBITE) (English) WISCONSIN TOURISTS, SHEILA TAPHORN, AND LISA NELSON, SAYING: NELSON: "I think there is a concern. There's 7 million people in the city, and I'm guessing even if the stats are wrong 10,000 have it. I'm going to play the odds right now." TAPHORN: "We have sanitary wipes and antibacterial stuff. So you just have to be smart. And if someone's coughing..." NELSON: "I'm getting up and moving my seat." TAPHORN: "We won't be sitting next to her." TKTS TICKET HANDLER HOLDING TICKETS / LOU MARCHESANO LEAVING CASHIER (SOUNDBITE) (English) BROADWAY TICKET BUYER, LOU MARCHESANO, SAYING: "Nervous? No, I mean, cautious, not nervous. (REPORTER ASKING OFF CAMERA 'AND WHAT SHOW ARE YOU SEEING?') We're seeing 'Moulin Rouge', 'cause can't pass up half price tickets. (REPORTER ASKING OFF CAMERA 'THE SHOW MUST GO ON?') The show must go on. Absolutely." DISCOUNT BROADWAY TICKET SELLERS GATHERED (SOUNDBITE) (English) DISCOUNT BROADWAY TICKET SELLER, ALBA LUJAN, SAYING: "I study science and I was studying back in my country med school. And like, you just have to, you know, like the hygiene, like wash your hands more. In the subway try not to touch like everything. Just always with their sanitizer with you, and try not to touch your face, with, you know, the hands like dirty. But that's all." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BUYING TICKETS NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (RECENT - MARCH 10, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BROADWAY LEAGUE CHARLOTTE ST. MARTIN SAYING: "We always followed the direction of the city, state or federal officials. So, if the governor or the mayor says you have to shut down, we will shut down. If one theater has an issue, then that theater will shut down. And we have all kinds of contingency plans on that."
- Keywords: Booth Theater COVID-19 TKTS discount Broadway tickets
- Reuters ID: LVA006C4QVUX3
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:03:35
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Health/Medicine
- Story Text:Broadway theater, one of New York's biggest tourist attractions, could be the next victim of the coronavirus after an usher tested positive for the disease and President Donald Trump banned European travel to the United States.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that he planned to issue guidance for Broadway in the next 24-48 hours amid a raft of other likely restrictions for New Yorkers. He said there were 62 cases of coronavirus in the city.
"I don't want to see Broadway go dark if we can avoid it. I want to see if we can strike some kind of balance," De Blasio told CNN, mentioning the possibility of putting more spaces between theater goers.
The industry was spooked on Wednesday when it was announced that an usher who had worked at two New York theaters had tested positive for coronavirus. Owners of the two venues said they had ordered deep cleanings and their shows went ahead.
However, television talk shows "The Late Show," "The Tonight Show" and "Last Week Tonight" said they would tape their broadcasts in New York venues without audiences going forward.
Several Broadway plays and musicals have already put a halt to cast members greeting fans and signing programs at stage doors.
De Blasio's remarks followed bans by San Francisco and Washington state on gatherings of more than 250 people and the cancellation or postponement of dozens of U.S. entertainment industry events, including the Coachella and South by Southwest festivals, CinemaCon, and the E3 videogames convention.
Some 14.8 million tickets were sold for Broadway shows in the 2018-2019 season that ended in May, bringing $1.8 billion in box office receipts, according to the Broadway League. Some 63% of those going to shows were tourists, from outside the United States or outside New York.
Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin told Reuters that while there has so far been no recommendations to close theaters, "we clearly are telling our theater goers and our cast and crew, if you're sick, don't come. And obviously, if you've bought a ticket, go back to your ticket provider to get exchange or refund."
March is generally a quiet time on Broadway. However influential producer Scott Rudin announced this week that all remaining tickets for his five shows would go on sale for just $50 through the end of March. Top seats on Broadway normally sell for about $200 each.
The shows, including "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "West Side Story," are already among the most heavily sold on Broadway.
"My partners and I want the buildings full - even, and especially, during this crisis - and this is the way to ensure it," Rudin told the Hollywood Reporter.
St. Martin said producers were cautious about sales picking up for the Easter and Spring break holidays "because people do tend to be more sensitive when it comes to their families."
"We don't truly know what's going to happen, you know, with the news talking about it nonstop," she said.
(Production: Alicia Powell, Emmanuel Tambakakis, Roselle Chen, Hussein Waaile)
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